Dialoging with Our Inner Personalities with Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D.

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Here we explore what the Internal Family Systems [IFS] model encompasses and how healing our own inner world can create ripples of compassion that extend from ourselves to our communities. These internal parts of the self can debilitate us with paralyzing fear, shame, feelings of not being good enough, and other enfeebling influences. Schwartz describes the goal of IFS is to help the internal parts of the self to transform from their extreme states into who they're designed to be. He gives several examples of how he works with people such as care-givers who also become incapacitated by arthritis, or highly driven corporate executives who are overly dependent on achieving goals, as well as working with those who suffer from shame. He acknowledges that these parts are neither good nor bad and each can have wonderful qualities. His work is to encourage people to listen to these parts with spaciousness and personal curiosity so as to ultimately live a more balanced life. (hosted by Travis Glen Sebera) 


Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D. is the creator of the therapeutic model known as Internal Family Systems [IFS] and founder of the IFS Institute which offers training for professionals and the general public. Formerly an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago and later at Northwestern University, he is currently on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. 

Richard C. Schwartz is the author of many books including: 

  • No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma, and Restoring Wholeness with The Internal Family Systems Model (Sounds True 2021) 

Topics explored in this dialogue include: 

  • How did Schwartz’ early life lead him to explore his present work with Internal Family Systems Model (IFS)
  • How Schwartz came to the realization that he too was dealing with a variety of inner personalities
  • What are some of the questions we might ask ourselves in order to have a useful dialogue with our inner personalities
  • How these inner voices are not just in the head, but are living in our bodies as well
  • What is the effectiveness of approaching the different parts of us with curiosity, appreciation, spaciousness, and compassion
  • How the IFS method can unburden us from extreme beliefs and emotions through dialogue
  • Why simply observing these different parts of us is not enough for healing
  • How the IFS work is more like separating different parts of a clove of garlic rather than peeling off layers of an onion
  • How his explanation of ultimate spiritual achievement can be explained by quantum physics wave and particle experiments.
  • The eight C words that Schwartz uses to describe the qualities of self: compassion, creativity, curiosity, confidence, courage, calm, connectedness, and clarity
  • The five P words that Schwartz uses to describe qualities of self: presence, persistence, perspective, playfulness, patience
  • How activists avoid being polarizing in their efforts toward social change
  • Why Schwartz is not opposed to the initial use of medication as helpful to calm down symptoms in the beginning of working with the internal parts of the self 

Host: Travis Glen Sebera   Interview Date: 1/26/2024   Program Number: 3806

Music Playlist


Album: One Guitar, No Vocals
Artist: Leo Kottke

Opening Essay: Track 01 Snorkel
Music Break 1: Track 04 Three-Quarter North
Music Break 2: Track 06 Chamber Of Commerce
Music Break 3: Track 07 From “Little Treasure”